Ben Boer attends the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2016
The Eco Forum Global organization, based in Beijing, held its eighth annual conference between 8 and 10 July. It was addressed by top leaders from China and around the world.
The theme of this year’s conference was "Embracing a New Era of Eco-Civilization: Advancing Green Development, Unifying Knowledge and Action". Mr Yu Zhengsheng, Chair of CPPCC National Committee gave a keynote address at the opening ceremony. He said that China must work with other countries to ensure that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are achieved.
The Forum included over 60 seminars, and was attended by over 1200 experts from Government, universities, business and non-government organisations from within and outside China
Prof Ben Boer of the Research Institute of Environmental Law, Wuhan University, was once again invited to the Forum, together with Brazilian Judge Antonio Benjamin, Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) and WCEL member Justice Michael Wilson of the Hawaii Supreme Court.
Prof Boer gave a paper on one of the new sub-themes of the conference, which was focused on ‘Great Cultural Endeavors Leading to a New Era in Eco-Civilization. His paper was entitled “The Culture of Ecological Civilization and the Environmental Rule of Law”. In the paper he argued that environmental law has a vital role to play in order for the culture of ecological civilization to be more broadly accepted and truly successful in terms of redressing the balance between national economic demands and the need for enhanced environment protection. Globally, he stated, it means critically re-examining all aspects environmental law and environmental institutions to ensure that more holistic integrated and consistent legal frameworks are generated with the view of drafting much more robust “green” legislation. For China, it means building on the reforms already achieved in the 2014 Environment Protection Law, which incorporated the idea of ecological civilization as one of its basic objectives. “Ecological civilization” has also been adopted by China’s 13th Five Year Plan. Prof Boer noted that if further legal reforms are not strongly promoted, the aims of eco-civilization will be much more difficult to achieve.
武汉大学环境法研究所“千人计划”特聘教授Ben Boer、IUCN环境法委员会（WCEL）主席Antonio Benjamin法官（巴西）以及WCEL委员Michael Wilson（夏威夷最高法院法官）应邀参加了这次论坛。Ben Boer教授在“走向生态文明新时代的大文化行动”分会场上发表了以“生态文明文化和环境法治”为主题的演讲。他指出环境法在促进生态文明文化得到广泛认可、在平衡国家经济发展和环境保护中扮演着重要的角色。这意味着就全球而言，要重新检视环境法律和制度的各个方面确保采取更加综合统一的法律框架，制定更多的“绿色”法律。对中国而言，在2014年新《环境保护法》将“生态文明”确定为立法目的的基础上，进一步作出更多的努力。中国“十三五”规划中也提出了“生态文明”，但是并没有进行有效的法律改革作为支撑，对于实现“生态文明”没有体现出积极的作用。